The nine finalists – all tech-driven start-ups that fit the competition criteria of being on a mission to revolutionise the industry, who innovate for an impact and with a purpose to drive sustainable development and good practices – will now be flown for free to London for the final.
They’ll get the chance to showcase their innovation to a global audience, network with potential partners, be visible to top investors and get stand space at this year’s WTM London and Travel Forward events, which take place from 1-3 November 2021.
On Day 2 – Tuesday 2 November 2021 – they’ll pitch to an international judging panel and exclusive audience of investors, industry leaders and innovators during the Front Runners Travel Tech Summit at 14:00-18:00 GMT, at ExCeL, London.
The competition attracted interest from 450 start-ups from more than 80 countries and eligible applicants had to complete a three-stage evaluation process, where the judges whittled them down to 10 and then chose three finalists in each category.
The finalists are:
In the Hospitality of the Future category, Hotelmize, a UK-based fintech-travel start-up that offers revenue-boosting cutting-edge technology products to the travel industry., is up against Pruvo, an Israeli AI-driven solution that helps travel companies increase profitability by leveraging price fluctuation that occurs in the hotel industry.and Singapore-based Stayr, a real-time booking platform that allows consumers to book spaces by the hour.
In the Experiences Revolution category, Clio Muse Tours is a storytelling app that enables accredited professionals from culture and tourism to create and distribute self-guided audio tours through a global network of online travel agencies and museums.. The Greece-based company is up against Community Homestay Network, a tourism value chain that creates job opportunities and improve livelihoods and offers authentic local experiences in Nepal and sustainable tourism company Natoure, based in Mexico with a mission of “Healing nature while traveling”..
In the Smart Mobility category, MOTIONTAG, from Germany, is a mobility analytics company focusing on solving the climate challenge by providing green incentive programs and granular mobility insight for smart cities.. The company is competing with Swiss sustainable mobility solution ShareP solving the problem of parking and EV charging within existing parking infrastructure. and Thrust Carbon, a UK company that reports, reduces, and removes travel emissions through their multi award-winning carbon intelligence platform..
The judging panel consists of: Evantia Giumba, Director at Amadeus Launchpad, EMEA; Alex Cruz, former British Airways and Vueling Chairman & CEO and now a Senior Tourism Specialist; Aradhana Khowala, CEO & Founder, Aptamind Partners; Liz Ortiguera, Chief Executive Officer, PATA and Elena Cholakova, Head of Innovation projects, WTFL.
WTFL is a non-profit Swiss-based institution that brings together decision-makers from industry, government, academia, young university graduates and start-ups. It runs start-up camps that drive and support innovation in tourism and it has developed a Dealflow tool solution that connects start-ups to potential investors.
In addition to the benefits listed above, shortlisted innovators will also be added to the exclusive WTFL Dealflow Tool, instantly enabling them to be visible to top investors.
Finalist Daphne Tsevreni, Co-founder & CFO at Clio Muse Tours said: “It’s such a privilege to have been announced a finalist in the Front Runners Travel Tech Competition. It’s a great opportunity to connect with even more travel companies and investors interested in travel tech from all around the world and showcase how self-guided tours are a great asset for any kind of tourism company”.
Finalist Fabien Sauthier, COO and Managing Director at MOTIONTAG said: “MOTIONTAG is proud to be part of the Front Runners Summit, as this is a recognition that our work around sustainability is highly relevant in the travel industry. We cannot wait to be in WTM London to network and build partnerships with key decision-makers at this global event!”
Finalist Dor Krubiner, CEO at Hotelmize said: “We are honoured to have been chosen among the Top travel tech start-ups by Travel Forward at WTM London out of 300 applications sent from 80 countries. Stay tuned as we will be presenting our innovative Fintech-based technologies which will empower our partners and travel companies globally through the coming years.”
Simon Press, Event Director at WTM London and Travel Forward, said: “The response has been phenomenal, with applications coming from all corners of the globe and we are looking forward to hearing the presentations by representatives of these nine fabulous, forward-thinking start-ups.”
Martin Barth, President & CEO at WTFL, said: “Front Runners Travel Tech Competition & Summit 2021 is our bold response to fostering innovation and supporting the start-up community in these challenging times. The Front Runners finalists are high potential start-ups who we would like to support to become profound catalysts for change, unlocking new innovations and providing much needed sustainable solutions and inspiration to the industry”
WTM London and Travel Forward in-person shows will take place from November 1-3 at ExCeL London and will be followed by WTM & TF Virtual on November 8-9.